The primary symptom of sinusitis is the frequent blocking of the nose, making breathing difficult. This problem, which persists even after treatment, disrupts normal life. Let us see what experts suggest, to make life easy for those who suffer from this problem:
What is sinusitis?
Sinuses are small cavities in and around the nose. They are situated in the region, between the nose and the throat. They are filled with air. They produce mucus. This blocks the allergens and pollutants that enter the nose through the nostrils. The cavities are located above the eyes, above the nose, behind the wall of the nose and inside of the cheekbones. The inflammation of the nasal sinuses is called sinusitis. Due to this inflammation, the nose is blocked. As a result, mucus and air are bound, leading to pain and stress. In some cases, a bacterial infection leads to sinusitis.
Sinusitis can be acute or chronic. Acute sinusitis lasts for four weeks. Chronic sinusitis can vex for weeks or years at a stretch. Sinusitis is usually caused due to cold weather or allergies. In those who have a weak immune system, fungus can cause sinusitis. Chronic sinusitis can occur also due to disorders in structure of the nostrils. Stress, pain in the facial muscles and a thick, coloured mucus, are symptoms of sinusitis. Some might develop a fever. Headache is common. Nose works as an efficient air filter. It can eliminate 80 per cent of the pollutants and dust in the air. It does so with the help of very thin hair called cilia and mucus. When the sinuses are inflamed, cilia are weakened, leading to breathing problems.
Sinusitis or allergy?
Nose block gets released gradually. Whether it is sinusitis or allergy, remains doubtful. Nostrils are inflamed either in allergies or sinusitis. If it is an allergy, nostrils and sinuses get inflamed to thrust the allergens out of the nose. Sinusitis is the result of frequent allergic reactions and common cold. In some cases, it occurs due to bacterial infection.
If it is due to allergy, there will be running of the nose, sneezing, watering of the eyes, itching and wheezing. If it is sinusitis, the nose gets blocked, with a thick mucus and pain in the brow, head, eyes and cheeks. Even teeth might start aching. When you use nose drops, you can feel the mucus entering the throat. There is cough and a burning sensation in the throat. It is already noticed that there is stress and pain in the facial muscles, due to sinusitis. There is pain even in the top of the nose, between the two eyes. The same symptoms can be seen in the nasal region. When you bend your head, the pain worsens.
To be rid of sinusitis, first study what is leading to frequent occurrence of the problem. If it is due to allergy, there is relief when the blocked mucus is removed. X-ray and CT scan will help in detecting the factors leading to sinusitis. If you are suffering from sinusitis for a long time, it is better to consult a physician. With medication and personal care, the problem can be overcome. A doctor will suggest antibiotics if sinusitis is due to bacterial infection. If the inflammation is due to allergy or virus, antibiotics will not help. Some who suffer pain, take over-the-counter drugs like Ibuprophen or paracetamol. Remember that no drugs should be taken without a doctor's prescription.
There are some medicines to reduce the mucus. One of them is nasal spray. Tablets also help. Sinusitis occurs mostly due to unidentified allergens. If allergens have not been identified, an examination should be done. Anti-histamines will control the reactions to allergens if any. Use of anti-allergic medicines too help in the long run. There are chances of some doctors recommending steroids, to reduce the inflammation of the sinuses.
Doctors suggest surgery in some sinusitis cases. Surgery is a solution when the problem recurs, despite reducing after medication and personal care. In surgery, doctors remove the blocks in the nostrils. The nostrils are expanded. This way, the mucus content inside is reduced. Frequent blocking of the nose too is averted.
Relief through these measures
- Ensure that the environment in the house is dry. There are machines that remove moisture from the air.
- Steaming will open up the blocked nostrils. Stress is reduced if a cloth dipped in hot water is placed on the nose. Saline water too gives relief. Saline water is nothing but salt water. These reduce the blocks formed in the nostrils.
- Improving immunity to diseases also helps. Nutritious diet should be taken. Sleep for not less than eight hours. Several studies have shown that immunity increases with adequate sleep. Drink clean, purified water. Normal exercise is a must.
- As this occurs due to cold and allergy, these should be controlled. Some studies have shown that by gargling at least three times a day, 40 per cent of cold-related problems will be reduced. Washing the nostrils with saline water helps. Nasal clear drops are available for this.
- At least 2,000 mg of Vitamin C should be taken daily. It has been recognised that Vitamin D and Vitamin A also help. Zinc should be included for a stronger immune system. It also helps the body to absorb Vitamin A. Eggs, fish, mushrooms, whole grains and pumpkin have adequate zinc. Dairy products, sugar, processed, refined foods and tobacco should be avoided.